China maintains its dominance in Asia at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020

Image credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

There's perhaps never been a time the global wine industry has been so hard hit, but the world’s largest and most influential wine competition is giving reason to celebrate with the release of its 2020 results. After completing judging under strict Covid safety guidelines that included innovations such as proximity lanyards and bespoke disposable spittoons, the Decanter World Wine Awards has today announced its 2020 winners.

Now in its 17th year, the 2020 competition has seen a rise in successes from lesser-known wine producing regions such as the South & Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, which showcased their impressive quality and value for money. Classic regions in France, Italy, Spain, the USA, and Australia once again performed well.

During the judging month, 116 expert wine judges, including 37 Masters of Wine and nine Master Sommeliers, tasted and debated the merits of 16,518 wines from 56 countries.

China continued to establish its reputation of producing quality-led, award-winning wines for the global market, and building on previous successes, it achieved 120 medals, including one Platinum, three Gold, 34 Silver and 82 Bronze.

China showcased its ability to produce world-class sweet wine, particularly icewine, of which 13 medals were awarded, including one Platinum for Ji'an City Baite Wine Co Manor Icewine 2016 from the Jilin region, in addition to three Gold and six Silver medals.

The Liaoning region in Northeast China produced five award-winning icewines, two Gold (Chateau Changyu Black Diamond Icewine Valley Vidal 2017, Liaoning Sanhe Cailonglin Vidal Icewine 2013) and three Silver medals (Chateau Changyu Golden Diamond Icewine Valley Vidal 2017, Liaoning Sanhe Cailonglin Vidal Icewine 2014, Liaoning Sanhe Cailonglin Vidal Icewine 2016).

Outside the sweet wine category, China collected Silver medals from a variety of regions, including Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Xinjiang and Ningxia.

The excellent value Changyu Long Tailed Cat 2019 from the Yantai sub-region of Shandong picked up a Silver medal for a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend. Whilst the Domaine Chandon vineyard in Ningxia was awarded a Bronze medal for its NV Sparkling Rosé.

Xinjiang’s Puchang Vineyard continued its success in 2020, collecting a Silver medal for the Saperavi 2016, a native Georgian grape variety.

Taiwan entered one wine that won Silver, the Weightstone Musann Blanc 2018, a still dry white wine made from 100% Musann Blanc – a variety unique to Taiwan.

Image credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave
Image credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Elsewhere in Asia, new countries entered the 2020 awards for the first-time, including South Korea and Indonesia, which picked up a Silver medal for a dry Muscat and two Bronze medals for sparkling wines.

China was the top performing country in Asia, beating India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand, winning 120 medals in comparison to the 63 total awarded in the rest of Asia, and the only country in Asia to be awarded with a Platinum medal.

Andrew Jefford, Co-Chair says, “The Decanter World Wine Awards really helps producers to raise their profile internationally. It can do the same for wine-producing regions and nations, too. Our judging system - including re-tasting of all Golds, with possible promotion to Platinum - is something we are very proud of. We explain it as often as we can. So, when consumers see a DWWA sticker on a bottle, be it Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, they can be reassured that the wine in question has been judged by regional experts and specialists before receiving its medal. We discuss, we argue, we fight it out...that's all part of the judging fun. Even with social distancing! But that's also how you get the results which have made the DWWA an international wine benchmark."

Image credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave
Image credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

After much uncertainty on whether the awards could take place this year, Decanter was meticulous in its approach and innovation to ensure the judging went ahead, introducing strict safety measures that were put in place, including temperature checks on the door, PPE for all judges and staff, disposable spittoons with antibacterial powder that solidifies with liquid and is later incinerated with other hazardous waste, proximity tags worn on lanyards that vibrate when you are less than two metres from another person, and isolated tasting areas with designated facilities.

Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW comments, “The competition has been terrific, it has been a perfect atmosphere to taste and judge this year. After months of lockdown and uncertainty everyone has been delighted to be back again, working together, sharing ideas and thoughts, and above all, focused on picking out the great wines from this year. There have been some wonderful discoveries. As ever the Best in Show day was tough, narrowing down to 50 top wines”.

View details and bottle shots of award-winning Chinese wines at:

A full list of winners can be viewed online at:

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